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Posted: Jun 17 2018, 10:38 AM
Group: Featured Blogers
Member No.: 17
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 144 pts
Hobart rust bucket bought for one dollar preparing for relief voyage to the Philippines
By Natalie Whiting
Photo: The Tasmanian Ports authority was keen to get rid of the Corvina. (ABC News: Scott Ross)
On Hobart's Derwent River, an old and rusting ship is docked in the state-owned port. It's set to be sold to Anna McDougall for one dollar.
Ms McDougall was born into a life of poverty in the Philippines and looks up at the Corvina as she talked about her goal to sail it to the Philippines
"I want to get out of here and start my work, start helping people in the Philippines, especially in the remote islands," she said.
It's a dream that's been almost five years in the making.
Ms McDougall and her husband Malcolm contacted TasPorts about buying old tug boats, when the old fishing vessel was first pointed out to them back in 2013.
"They said they have this rust bucket that's available to tour in the Philippines," Ms McDougall explained.
Shortly afterwards Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people.
Photo: Anna McDougall's dream of taking relief to the poor areas of the Philippines is moving closer to fruition. (ABC News: Natalie Whiting)
"Because of that I said: 'I have an idea Malcolm, if TasPorts is really interested in getting that boat out of the port I have an idea of doing it as an aid vessel'."
After a difficult childhood in the Philippines, Ms McDougall knew how much people would be struggling following the typhoon.
"I remember when I was six years old our house was broken by a disaster like the typhoon, so we are all wet, our clothes is wet, everything's wet.
"So to protect ourselves we had to sleep under the table."
When she was 11 Ms McDougall father died and she became the main supporter of the family and struggled to get enough food to feed her siblings.
"Because of that reason, that I am one of these children that we are talking to now, I am really interested to help them," she said.
The ship is already being filled with donations and after sailing it to the Philippines, Ms McDougall plans to leave it there to be used as an aid ship and as a training vessel at a maritime college.
"So that basically this is an aid vessel with maritime training students on board," she said.
Years of work
In order to fundraise for the ship's repairs, the McDougalls created the not-for-profit project Philippines Australia and have been doing everything from art auctions to sausage sizzles.
But trying to get the Corvina into shape to make the trip to the Philippines has been no easy feat.
Malcolm McDougall admits he didn't think it would be as big a task as it has ended up.
"I thought it was going to be a lot easier," he said.
"But like they say, sometimes a little bit of ignorance helps you on your way because if you know everything it won't happen.
Photo: Malcolm and Anna McDougall found that getting the Corvina sea worthy was a massive task. (ABC News: Natalie Whiting)
"So you just take each challenge as it comes and keep working through it."
Volunteers have completed most of the repairs done to date, but there is more work needed.
"We want to get to the Philippines to do the major work, but to get her up there we just want servicing of the engines and fit the bridge equipment that's needed and just make sure everything is up and running for a one way trip," Mr McDougall said.
The ship will also need about $100,000 worth of fuel to make the trip.
Despite the long road, Malcolm McDougall is confident the Corvina will make it to the Philippines.
"I'm very confident because I know that Anna won't give up, she really believes in her dreams and she really wants to pursue it and she has all good reason to do it," he said.
"So I'm very confident but we do need the help of the public."
Throughout it all TasPorts had continued to provide a free berth for the ship and had offered to sell the vessel to Project Philippines for a token fee of $1, once safety requirements were met.
"TasPorts hopes Project Philippines can speedily secure the future of Corvina so it can undertake its new venture while freeing up the berth at Macquarie Point for other port users," it said in a statement.
Hobart high school to donate uniforms
The Corvina is already filing up with donations including hospital beds, clothing and educational supplies.
"I'm really pleased and I'm really happy that we have a lot of generous Tasmanians, Australians, who really help me through this," Ms McDougall said.
A set of school uniforms is also set to be added to the donations onboard.
Two years ago the Rokeby High School in Hobart was rebranded and became Bayview College, the change meant there was a number of uniforms that had never be worn but could no longer be used.
Photo: Bayview College principal Gill Berriman hopes the uniform donations will open students' eyes to the lives of the less fortunate. (ABC News: Natalie Whiting)
Project Philippines approached the school after hearing about the name change and now the uniforms are being boxed up ready to be put on the ship.
"It's worked out really well and we're really pleased to helping and doing something positive by giving back," principal Gill Berriman said.
"I think the students will be really pleased that their uniforms have gone to such a good cause."
Ms Berriman said she hoped the exchange would also open students eyes to the lives of less fortunate people in the region.
"I think to connect and actually understand a bit more about the culture and the school over there will be a really important thing for the students," she said.
Hopes that this is the year
The McDougalls recently flew to the Philippines to meet with schools, World Vision and the ship yard where they hope the Corvina will end up.
The trip was paid for out of their own money as Project Philippines continues to save for ship repairs.
Photo: Bayview college staff member Yvonne Cloudsdale packs uniforms for a Philippines school (ABC News: Natalie Whiting)
Among her supplies, Ms McDougall took samples of the old Rokeby High School uniforms and has already found a school that wants them.
At the airport before boarding the plane for her homeland, she said she was confident this would be the year for the ship to set sail.
"I believe that the boat is going to head off the the Philippines this year, so I'm really happy for that," she said.
I wish the McDougalls every success in their wonderful venture.
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” - John Wooden
Posted: Jun 17 2018, 11:39 AM
Group: Active Member
Member No.: 53
Joined: 13-March 12
Rep: 11 pts
A wonderful project to aid the Phillipines, and one of the best things about it is that it is all voluntary. No one has wanted grants from a government, yes the boat was cheap and the berth if free of costs. This has all been done with community support and fundraising in the time honoured Australian community way. Think sports clubs, CWA, P&C, and all those things that communities built using money raised in the community. No grants, no government monry with strings, just community banding together to achieve a goal. Congratulations to the McDougalls and the community which is supporting them.
Posted: Jun 17 2018, 03:38 PM
Group: Active Member
Member No.: 16
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 33 pts
Very commendable of this caring lady to what she's doing, although it's certainly taking a hard sidetrack, compared to our Government GIVING the Phillipines $340 million for some bull#%^* reason, meanwhile, the Phillipines accept that generous donation, and turn around and spend $400 million on.....Attack Helicopters, no less! It's all about priorities, obviously!
I don't think that they're giving two hoots about Anna McDougall and her private efforts to aid people in, wait for it.....THE PHILLIPINES!!! You can see that they really care about their own people! Wouldn't it be really great if the Phillipines Government had the same compassion that Ms. McDougall is showing?
This post has been edited by Phillip J.: Jun 17 2018, 03:43 PM
Live as if the world were as it should be, to show how it could be.
If what we do doesn't matter, then the only thing that matters is what we do.
Posted: Jun 17 2018, 05:31 PM
Group: Active Member
Member No.: 11
Joined: 20-December 11
Rep: 48 pts
Great lady Same here politicians do not care despots they are